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Aeon to use facial recognition at 80 China self-serve stores

Smart supermarkets anticipate customer purchases upon store entry

Facial recognition technology is already being used by various businesses in China, including a hotel run by Alibaba. (Photo by Yusho Cho)

TOKYO -- Aeon, Japan's largest retailer by sales, will soon debut a chain of self-serve smart stores in China that can anticipate what a customer will buy upon entering the establishment.

Aeon plans to convert 80 of its roughly 480 Chinese retail outlets into smart stores within the next few years. Facial-recognition technology installed in the stores will identify shoppers. Customers' smartphones will then display recommended items and coupons based on purchasing habits and digital payment history.

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